California inmate released after 25 years on death row
SAN QUENTIN, Calif. (AP) — A man who spent nearly 25 years on California’s death row has been freed after his conviction in the rape and killing of his girlfriend’s daughter was overturned.
The California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation says Vicente Benavides was released from San Quentin State Prison on Thursday afternoon.
The 68-year-old had been on death row since June 1993. He was convicted of killing his girlfriend’s 21-month-old daughter.
The state Supreme Court overturned his conviction last month on grounds that medical testimony at his trial was false.
Kern County District Attorney Lisa Green has said she won’t retry Benavides for first-degree murder and that without the medical testimony, a lesser conviction would be nearly impossible.